Horror Movie Double Feature: The Other J.C.

Downtown Tacoma, Washington is changing, like many of our older mid-size cities. The insurgence of loft-dwelling urbanites is turning my downtrodden, meth-laden, crime driven ghetto, into a--gag--pleasant place to live. Now, where's the fun in that? The martini bars, condos, and spas are replacing the hookers, drug dealers and gangs of homeless schizophrenics. Covention centers and hotels have replaced abandoned buildings and abusive nursing homes.

It's all very disheartening.

Even that pantheon of dollar horror movies, The Rialto, has been converted into a meeting facility. I take solace in the image of suits trudging through that dump, dirtying their cuffs, sidestepping hypodermic needles, gagging at the shit-smeared restrooms.

The last time I was there, I saw John Carpenter's electro-anti-christ flick, Prince of Darkness. I think I told you all about the horror that was the Parkland theater, well The Rialto made the Parkland look like the McDonald's playland. The scariest part of the place was the exit. But let's watch the clip before we go there.

This movie haunts me. The recurring scene of the shrouded figure emerging from the doorway even found a home in my nightmares. That's a pretty good indicator of a director's ability. John Carpenter knows how to scare, and in this lesser classic he utilizes a big vat of swirling green goo, and makes you believe that's the Devil. Awesome.

Afterward. The exit was by the screen. It fed out into a cave-like urine stain of a hallway that was permanently dark, and often occupied by homeless people that may or may not have been alive. At the end of this hall was a broken door busted apart in spots to let in the light, and crackheads. If my parents knew that I'd traverse this kind of obstacle for entertainment, they'd never have let me out of the house.

What these memories have to do with horror movies, I don't know. Why are you reading this self indulgent bullshit?

I saw In the Mouth of Madness, in a far less threatening venue. In Federal Way, a city that is all strip mall and no city. Though the film, Carpenter's homage to H.P. Lovecraft, was still disturbing despite cushy surroundings. Check it...

It's hard to pinpoint why this film is so scary, is it the transformations that occur to the human bodies, or that Progerian kid on the bike, or is it that final scene in the mental hospital? God, I need to see it again.